One year in Australia give-away winner!

Just a quick note to inform you all that the winner of our one year in Australia celebration give-away is…

*drum-roll*

Bonnie Woodworth…

Who requested a gift of… nothing – Hahah!  Actually, she suggested that we donate the value to a charity of our choice.  At this point, it looks like we’ll be donating $100 to the Channel 7 Telethon, which happens to be occurring tomorrow.  You can check out the full list of beneficiaries from the event here, but basically the money goes towards all kinds of programs/institutions that focus on the health and welfare of children in Western Australia; we thought this would be appropriate for you, Bonnie.  The primary recipient is typically the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children in Perth, but there are many others

Thanks to everyone who participated, for keeping in touch and for keeping us inspired to blog.  It was really great to read your responses!  An honourable mention goes to Lincoln Weller whose comment was a blog post unto itself (tenderized kangaroo, haha!).

One Year

That’s right people. We’ve lived in this beautiful country for one year as of today! We arrived on 3 November 2011 (Australian dating notation, read “three November twenty eleven”) after leaving Canada on the 1st. We sort of had a clue as to what we were getting ourselves into, but not really.  I (Kathryn) was 5 months pregnant with Kate, we had just said goodbye to all of our family and friends and travelled to literally the opposite side of the world with 15-month-old Eden. [Note: throughout this post we’ve linked to previous posts from this year, as indicated by italics]

The last leg of the flight here, Sydney to Perth

Our first trip to Kings Park in Perth

Here’s our First Impressions of Perth if you’re interested in reflecting with us. It’s great reading back on that time. Everything was so new and we were under the stress of finding a permanent home. We did eventually find a place to call home, and this city has become familiar,  along with driving on the left hand side of the road and hearing Australian accents. We’ve definitely acclimatised, wearing jeans and “jumpers” when it’s “cold” (e.g. 20 degrees or below) and increasing our summer wardrobes significantly; especially me, since pretty much all of my summer stuff was maternity or Canadian summer clothes, which are much too hot for the Australian summer.

It’s actually a rainy, grey day today, similar to the day we arrived and apparently not common for this time of year. To be honest, I think we’re looking forward to summer, at least the first part anyway! The sun, the beach, the warmth are all calling to us, oddly enough.  We both feel like it would be really tough to move back to a cold climate after living here. I do want my girls to experience snow though, so we will be planning a trip home during the winter at some point. Eden knows what snow is from books, so I think it would be cool for her to experience it first hand.  It’s hard to believe, but there are many adults here who have never seen snow in real life.

One thing we do miss about winter at home is the falling snow. Nothing compares to the quiet stillness of snow falling – that dead air that absorbs everything else around you, leaving you isolated with just the crunch of your boots in the fresh snow beneath them – and the beauty of a landscape blanketed with it. I don’t miss cleaning the wind shield though (Aus: windscreen), or scraping ice, shovelling, bundling up, or salt-stained pants!

Over the past year we’ve become quite involved in our church – CityLight Church. Tim plays on the worship team when he’s home, mostly guitar and leads every third week. I’ve recently taken on the role of secretary, slowly doing some things from home to keep the website up to date and such. I haven’t done much other than take minutes at the latest AGM, but my duties will increase as time goes by and the girls aren’t so exhausting!

We’ve made some great friends here and have already had to say goodbye to some.

I’ve only seen 3 redback spiders and zero snakes, so our fears were unfounded (Tim’s seen much more up north, but no bites yet).

We’ve had a baby! Through that experience we learned how to navigate the public/private healthcare system, and how much better water births are than hospital bed births.

She’s not a little baby any more

We had Heather visit us for 3 months, which was fantastic.  We still miss her dearly, and anxiously await visits from other family and friends – We have a spare room now, because the girls share 🙂

Best buds in their red dresses

We survived a long drilling season with Tim away 8 out of every 14 days (Aus: “fortnight”, a super useful word meaning two weeks) from the end of January until November, excluding the month of March when Kate was born.  In total, Tim has been away for about 120 days (with a few more to come before end of season); he’s been on about 34 flights, logged 9160 metres of rock (149 drillholes, diamond and RC), and will soon be modelling one of two halves of the deposit he’s been working at. One interesting thing about working here versus IOC is that everything below 50% iron is considered waste here, whereas back at IOC the average ore grade was somewhere around 38%!

We’re now looking forward to Christmas and I’m already planning what it’s going to look like this year. We love it here, and if we could only fly our family members over to visit/live it would be perfect! We just applied for Kate’s Canadian citizenship (she’s currently stateless) and hopefully this wont take “in excess of 12 months” like they say it will, so we can come home and show off Kate to everyone before she’s all grown up. To be completely honest though, I’m definitely not ready to make that trip again, even after a year, especially with 2 children. We’ll see what the next 12 months bring!

Over all it has been a fantastic year and we look forward to another.

Look how much she’s grown!

To celebrate this milestone we’re going to have a GIVE-AWAY!

We haven’t purchased the prize yet because we want to send the winner something tailored specifically to what he or she wants. Also, this give-away is only for people living outside of Australia (sorry locals).  To be eligible, all you’ve got to do is comment and let us know what you would be most excited to do/see/eat/experience if you were to visit us in Australia!  You’re not allowed to say “see you guys!”; even if that’s true, be more creative please. Also, please include in your response whether you’d like to win a prize that is edible (e.g. bottle of vegemite), playable  (e.g. kids toy), wearable (e.g. Australia flag bikini), displayable (e.g. a boomerang), or something-else-able, so we know what to send to you 🙂  The prize will be a surprise within your chosen category, and we’ll contact the winner for your address if we need it.

Good luck and thanks for sharing in our journey and this exciting anniversary celebration!